This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable
The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal sea state.
The ship was rather quiet during this crossing, during the day and during the evenings. The day time program wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and the passengers didn't seem to want to stay up too late in the evenings, even during formal nights. By midnight, the ship was very quiet and the bars even started to close. This was not a "party" sail like my usual pre-Christmas crossing.
Cruise critic organized an informal meet and greet on the second day of the voyage. It was well attended and it let me meet the people in the forums.
I enjoy transatlantic crossings a lot and despite some negative comments here, it is almost certain that there will be a fifth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 in my future.
Ship: The Queen Mary 2 is a special ship and I've always enjoyed her design and layout. While there are some quirks and oddities about her design (i.e. Decks 2/3 between A and B stairwells and getting the Queen's Room and G32), she is beautiful ship in the art deco style. One never feels crowded on board the ship. The Carinthia Lounge remains the area to avoid on the ship (it has a very retirement home feeling). The ship is showing some wear and age, but overall maintenance is still very good.
Cabin: I had an obstructed view cabin, but it was a good cabin, possibly the best obstructed view cabin because it was behind a small boat rather than a full sized lifeboat.
Britannia Restaurant. The food in the Britannia Restaurant for this crossing was average, not as great as it had been in the past. It was still very good but didn't feel as special as previous crossings. Presentation remains excellent, but the menu wasn't that exciting. The desserts were also rather plain this crossing.
King's Court. Always busy, especially at lunch. Finding a table next to a window is nearly impossible and the food is average, but consistent.
Golden Lion Pub. The pub lunch is always a good choice when the menu at the Britannia restaurant doesn't appeal to me. It serves traditional pub classic dishes such as fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala.
Room Service. It was decent. I usually get room service breakfast. The food/coffee/tea is never piping hot, but that's expected given that its being delivered and the galley is rather far away.
Evening shows: Cunard has never been known for their evening entertainment, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. The singing and dancing of the Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers was what I expected. Though other passenger's descriptions were harsher ("a high school production").
Lecturers: The selection of lecturers for this crossing was not the greatest. None of the lecturers really interested me and the comments from the other passengers were mostly negative as well.
Planetarium: It's always nice to be able to attend the planetarium shows, but the show is always the same "stars above the north Atlantic."
Service: The bartending staff remains excellent, my favourite bartender was on board and I have sailed with her for all of my voyages. My steward wasn't the greatest this year, but was still decent. The sommelier assigned to our table wasn't very good, rather than recommending me wines, he would just give me to the wine list and have me select the wine. I noticed there were a lot of trainees on board, so service was a bit slow.
Shopping: Souvenirs remain a weakness of Cunard. The souvenirs are either overpriced and tacky or just overpriced. It would be nice if Cunard could get some decent and reasonably priced souvenirs. Their selection has improved over the years, but still has a lot of room for improvement.
Embarkation: Very smooth this year, no queues, the fastest embarkation in Southampton I've ever had. But I found out that this was the case because there were a lot of people already on board who did not embark in Southampton.
Disembarkation: Disembarking in Brooklyn is always frustrating. There was about an hour's delay from when I was scheduled to disembark to when I actually got off the ship. Then the queues to get through US Customs was a nightmare.
Probably the best view of an obstructed balcony cabin on board because it is behind one of the smaller zodiac style boats rather than a full size life boat. I like Deck 8 because it's not too high and not too low.
I find that even during a summer transatlantic crossing, I didn't really use my balcony all that often due to the strong winds. It was great to be able to get outside to get some fresh air though.
I took the transfer from Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to Manhattan (Penn Station). It's a cost effective and efficient way of getting downtown.
Embarkation at the Ocean Terminal was very efficient and smooth this year.